Other Community Events

The JCC East Bay serves as a hub and partner for many organizations and groups.  We are excited to share the below community events. 

From Our Friends 

Vocal Workshop: A Singing Journey Through the Steppes and the Shtetl
with Polina Skovoroda Shepherd (Russia/UK) and Lorin Sklamberg (NYC)

Saturday, September 23, 10:30 AM-1:30 PM
SILK ROAD HOUSE: 1944 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA
Fee: $45
Information and registration 

Led by Polina Skovoroda Shepherd, one of Europe's leading musicians in this field, and Lorin Sklamberg, Grammy-winning Klezmatics singer and internationally- acclaimed Yiddish song specialist, this workshop is open to all lovers of East European vocal music.

All tunes will be taught by ear and/or with sheet music. Singers of all backgrounds and levels are welcome, no experience necessary.

Russian folk songs embrace the entire landscape of Mother Earth. Russia's broad geographic span is felt throughout the culture and infuses songs with vast emotional depth. Large musical intervals in lyrical songs call to mind the boundless horizons of Russian topography. In Eastern European folklore, every snowflake and blade of grass embodies the spirits of nature. These connections are felt at every occasion when these songs are sung... pagan ritual holidays, circle dances, weddings, lamentations, epic storytellings...

Yiddish is the 1000 year-old language of the Jews of Eastern Europe. Yiddish folk songs are deeply rooted in both everyday life and lofty spiritual traditions, including cantorial and Hassidic singing. As Jews have migrated in the region, their songs have adopted influences of many diverse Eastern European cultures. Yiddish songs express every color of human emotion and spiritual aspiration. Participants will learn both folk tunes and Niggunim, age-old melodies that encourage personal improvisation and ornamentation that enable the singer, and the singing community, to bring about a change in consciousness known as Dveykes, or union with the divine.


Two Concerts
The Izba, the Shtibl, and the Global Village
Lorin Sklamberg and Polina Skovoroda Shepherd
with a special guest appearance by Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble

Sunday, September 24, 4 PM and 7:30 PM
PIEDMONT PIANO COMPANY: 1728 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland, CA
$25 advance/$30 door
Reservations and information

These intimate concerts showcase Russian romances, folk and Soviet melodies in Yiddish, bilingual songs from the Odessa underground, Russian lyrics set to klezmer tunes, collective farm songs from a century ago, and original material exploring the connections between the steppes and the shtetl.


JFCS's 10th Annual Art of Living Gala  

Date: October 30, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM
Location: Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, Lafayette (free, accessible parking)
Tickets: $150 regular admission, $75 guests under 35
Learn More: http://jfcs-eastbay.org/art-of-living-2016/

Join Jewish Family & Community Services Bay for its 10th annual Art of Living gala event, supporting vital services in the East Bay. JFCS is thrilled to welcome Roz Chast, New Yorker cartoonist and author of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?  



A Jewish Democratic State: Creating Shared Space for All People in Israel

Tuesday, November 14, 7-8:30 PM
Location: Congregation Beth El
Tuition: Free
Click here for more.

Every fifth citizen in Israel belongs to the Arab minority. This group's integration in Israeli society constitutes a difficult challenge, given that their fellow Arabs in the Middle East are in a state of war against Israel. This challenge is coupled with the collective memory of the events of 1948, which are a central motif in the Palestinian narrative in Israel and the surrounding region. This presentation will focus on these issues through the personal stories of Ulfat Haider and Asaf Ron as well as their mutual work experience at Beit HaGefen, a Haifa-based Arab Jewish Cultural Center founded in 1963. Beit HaGefen believes that interpersonal acquaintanceship and an encounter with another culture and its narratives are essential for breaking down barriers and building trust. We will focus on the city of Haifa as a unique model of living together with mutual respect and understanding, and discuss how the Bay Area — Haifa's "sister city" — does the same.

Cosponsors: Congregation Beth El, Consulate General of Israel, San Francisco, Jewish Community Relations Council